Skip to content

Vegan Ddeok-kook (Rice cake soup) Recipe

January 1, 2011

Happy New Year everyone!! I hope 2010 was a good year for everyone, and we really hope all our Vegan8Korean visitors have a fantastic 2011!


Ddeok-kook is a rice cake soup with a simple broth Koreans always eat on New Year’s day. If you have not eaten Ddeok-kook on New Year’s day, we say that you haven’t properly aged a year ( in Korea, you get one year older on New Year’s day, not on your birthday – I know, it’s kind of confusing :P).

Anyway, it’s a simple and easy dish that you can prepare in 20 minutes (minus the soaking time for kombu, ddeok, and mushrooms). You can also add veggie dumplings to the dish to make it a heartier meal. It’s a yummy dish that always made on New Year’s day to celebrate the new year!

Vegan Ddeok-kook (Rice cake soup) Recipe (Serves 2)

5 cups of water
2 cups ddeok (the sliced oval white rice cakes you find in Korean grocery stores)
1/3 cup dried shitake mushrooms
2 3X3 inch pieces of kombu
6-8 vegetable dumplings (from a Korean/Asian grocery store, we make ours!)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 scallion, chopped
1 tsp soy sauce (more or less)
pinch salt (more or less)
sesame oil (more or less)
generous pinch of blackpepper (more or less)
generous amount of sesame seeds (more or less)
1 sheet nori/kim (more or less, I like it with a lot of nori/kim)

1. Soak kombu and shitake mushrooms in 5 cups of cold water for 2 hours (leave the mushrooms when finished soaking but remove the kombu; I use the kombu for other banchan dishes later).
2. Soak the ddeok rice cake in water for 30 minutes.
3. In a separate pot, steam or boil veggie dumplings. Set aside on plate.
4. Bring kombu/mushroom water to boil. Add rice cake, garlic and chopped scallions and bring to boil.
6. Add soy sauce, salt, sesame oil and black pepper and simmer for 3 minutes.
7. Add dumplings and bring to boil.
8. Remove from heat and top with crushed nori/kim.

soaking mushrooms

You must soak the dried mushrooms or they will be very tough and not good to eat.

soaking ddeok

You also soak the ddeok to make them a little more tender before you put them in the broth.

boiling ddeok-kook

Put everything in the pot, and when it comes to a boil, put it in a bowl and add crushed nori/kim on top!


You mix it all up with the kim/nori when you eat it! Yumm… so soothing and nice.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2011 8:33 am

    Happy new year! πŸ™‚ This is why I love winter, there’s never a bad time for soup!

    • Sunnie permalink*
      January 4, 2011 9:04 am

      Happy new year Julia. πŸ˜‰ We send best wishes for health and happiness.

  2. Jerry permalink
    September 6, 2011 10:26 pm

    So excited to have found this site and this recipe! I’m half-Korean, and ddeok-kook was one of the first Korean foods i made my (white) wife that she truly enjoyed. She’s been mostly vegetarian for many years, and we both have been vegan for a few months now. I’ve been moaning and groaning about the loss of many of my favorite dishes, but here they are! Thanks for posting the recipes, I can’t wait to try cooking some up!

    • Sunnie permalink*
      September 7, 2011 8:29 am

      Hi, Jerry! Thanks for finding us! What a great story you guys have about Korean food, so sweet. πŸ™‚ We went through the same process of missing Korean dishes when we first made the decision to be vegan. But we soon realized that we didn’t have to miss anything – we learned that with some creativity, we could have all the dishes we wanted and our food would be so much healthier too. We hope you enjoy cooking these dishes. Please keep us posted! πŸ™‚

  3. Stephanie permalink
    January 10, 2012 12:42 pm

    Hi Sunnie! I can’t tell you how thankful I am to find your website! I hope you keep updating with other common/popular Korean foods that are usually prepared with meat and/or eggs! Vegan Koreans are rare these days. πŸ™‚

    I was wondering… what is Kombu?

  4. Stephanie permalink
    January 10, 2012 12:43 pm

    And where can I get it (kombu)? πŸ™‚ Thanks!

    • Sunnie permalink*
      January 10, 2012 1:38 pm

      Hi Stephanie!! Thanks for finding us! πŸ˜‰ Kombu is sea vegetable, they look like thick black sheets of seaweed. You can find Kombu at any Asian grocery store or a natural food market like Whole foods!

      • Stephanie permalink
        January 10, 2012 2:15 pm

        Hi Sunnie! Thank you so much! Oooo, kombu is λ‹€μ‹œλ‹€! Can you tell me how that is different from λ‹€μ‹œλ§ˆ? Thank you and I can’t wait to try your recipes!!

      • Sunnie permalink*
        January 10, 2012 2:33 pm

        Oh sorry that was a typo! λ‹€μ‹œλ§ˆ is the sea vegetable and λ‹€μ‹œλ§ˆ is a brand name that uses λ‹€μ‹œλ§ˆ as the main ingredient in their spice mix. πŸ˜‰

  5. Corrin Radd permalink
    June 23, 2012 2:55 pm

    Yum! We made this today and loved it. I found brown rice ddeok at the Korean market and was worried about their taste/texture, but they were great.

    • Sunnie permalink*
      June 23, 2012 3:29 pm

      Awesome! Yes, we make this dish often too, especially when we are busy-so easy and fast. πŸ˜‰ Thanks so much for letting us know that it turned out well!!

  6. Alien permalink
    October 22, 2012 3:38 pm

    My half Korean vegan husband was sick so I made this for him for lunch. He approves! Love this site.

  7. January 2, 2013 11:38 am

    Hey, can’t wait to try this one but first I have to ask wheter the ddeok you use are those precooked or the totally dried ones? I think I have seen both options in the store but 30 minutes soaking for the dry ddeok seems so short.

    • Bill permalink*
      January 2, 2013 9:41 pm

      Hi, Vee. All Korean ddeok is precooked (steamed), so you would be buying it frozen or refrigerated, and the 30 minutes soaking time should be just fine, particularly for a soup. I’m not sure if the totally dried ones you’re referring to might be Chinese or something else? But if you get a Korean brand from the refrigerator or freezer section, you should be good!


  1. Vegan Jjin-Mandu (Korean Steamed Dumplings) Recipe « The Vegan 8 Korean

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: